After an aborted attempt to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, I decided to see how Linux actually works. There are some appealing aspects about Linux. For someone who was a teenager in the 1970s, there’s a sense about moving back to something simpler; back to cars where you could actually seen the engine when you opened the hood – and work on it. Back to standard transmissions, where you not only had more direct control but could feel it. The downside of that era was that while you could work on the car yourself, you also needed to with some frequency – and analogy that also carries over to open source.
Two days after my posting about PNC’s online banking system, I got a call from one of the techs in the department to which big problems get elevated (the ones you can’t call from outside PNC). He had also been with National City, so knew both systems well. He listened fairly patiently to my rantings, but had no real explanations for the past problems – other than that it had taken a full year to switch all the new customers over to PNC’s systems. He was able, though, to segregate my business from my personal accounts while we spoke, which immediately resolved the conflicts with payees and put the different accounts into different online areas, as they should have been from the beginning (one under personal banking and the other under small business banking, with separate log-ins.) Surprisingly, he gave me his contact information so that I could reach him for additional help as necessary.
The announcement that National City was being acquired by PNC Bank happened towards the end of October, 2008. It was many months before the signs on the local branches where I live changed, and not until the third weekend in February, 2010 that the online banking system switched to PNC. So basically, PNC had about 16 months to get ready for the switchover. Since then, it’s hard to believe or explain how many ways they have failed. (Admittedly, this is only person’s experience, but you can’t have this many problems just by accident.)
Convergences are always interesting. In the last two days I’ve been dealing with issues about location, identity and security, and thinking about how these related to questions of service.